Paris, 16 December 2004
- ART published today its technical and financial guidelines for the transmission of subscriber lists
The guidelines explain the terms under which telecoms operators transfer their subscriber lists to directory publishers. The lists contain all subscribers, whether fixed or mobile, 0870, Audiotel, etc. The term "directory publishers" refers to editors of paper, electronic (CD-ROM), or on-line directories (Minitel, Internet, etc.), and providers of directory assistance services.
The guidelines are the fruit of collaboration which included :
- ART’s participation in the works conducted by CNIL in 2003 regarding the principles of personal data and user information protection
- a working group launched in February 2004 by ART composed of telecoms operators and directory and directory assistance service providers
- a public consultation in summer 2004 on the draft guidelines
The guidelines cover the technical (database content, file format, update frequency and process, etc.) and financial aspects (charges for access to the lists) which govern the transmission of subscriber lists.
- Directory and directory assistance services include both fixed and mobile users
These guidelines are part of the legal obligation for operators to permit the creation of universal directories and universal directory assistance services, which include data for telephone users (fixed or mobile) and for professional subscribers (companies and on-line services).
The guidelines will allow the development of added-value services such as reverse enquiries or direct party connection; although inclusion in the lists remains subject to the approval of the concerned users.
- Extended subscriber rights and better protection of personal data
In accordance with the new legislative framework and the regulatory framework in force, subscribers have rights regarding their personal data. In particular, they can decide whether certain personal data can be published in paper or on-line directories, or delivered by directory assistance services. A number of options are available: the user’s name can appear instead of that of the subscriber, address or first name can be hidden, an electronic address can be added, the data can be blocked for prospecting or reverse lookups, etc.
Operators are responsible for informing subscribers and users of these rights and for collecting their personal data and preferences for publication in the directories. In particular, mobile operators must receive subscribers' approval prior to including them in subscriber lists.
- The bases for a competitive offer to the benefit of consumers
Finally, the guidelines require that :
- operators offer their lists in a non-discriminatory way and at a cost-oriented price based on usage
- directory and directory assistance service providers publish personal data in a homogenous manner, in accordance with the preferences expressed by the subscribers
By guaranteeing that any service provider can publish user data within a strict protective framework, ART hopes to promote healthy competition in the provision of innovative, cost-effective products and services, to the benefit of consumers.